Coolness! 1967 Spidey Cartoon Mashed with 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Trailer

What do you get when you mix the soundtrack from the upcoming blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man with an old-school Spidey cartoon from the 1960s? Answer: A surprisingly awesome trailer for an animated movie that really needs to get made. Check it out below and see if you don't agree. I love how the cartoon scenes were carefully chosen to exactly match Andrew Garfield's and Rhys Ifan's voices. Major props to the creator - Jacknapes1969. I sincerely hope he does more of these mash-ups using vintage cartoons.

Is a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Movie on Marvel's Slate?

Guardians of the Galaxy copyright Marvel Comics
News circulated around the internets today that Marvel Studios will release a live-action, feature film in 2014, based on the Marvel comic book Guardians of the Galaxy. If that name isn't totally familiar to you, don't worry, it's one of Marvel's lesser known properties. 

I totally admit, in order to analyze this story, I had to do a quick Wikipedia search to refresh my memory on the comic books. Long story short, the Guardians are a strange assortment of superheroes and aliens that even includes a talking raccoon (aptly named Rocket Raccoon). Other members of the team have monikers such as Bug, Cosmo, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot.  

They have a long, complex comic book history in which they've battled various cosmic baddies, including one story called The Thanos Imperative - starring the big, bad, purple guy who appeared at the end of The Avengers movie. If you need a quick tutorial on the Guardians, you might want to peruse the team's Wikipedia entry.

The website Latino Review reported this "exclusive" today (June 28) and several movie sites repeated the story as the big news of the day. My philosophy is - until it's confirmed by the studio, it's just a rumor. With all due respect to the fine people at Latino Review, they seem to have an "exclusive" story every day, so I'm always a bit skeptical about reports like today's.

Supposedly, the Guardians movie will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the characters will interact with members of The Avengers. While it is true that Marvel has purchased several domain names that are related to the Guardians (as reported by /Film), that doesn't prove a movie is in the works. Marvel could be planning an animated TV show or movie, instead of a live-action flick.

I'll be shocked if this story turns out to be true. I don't think Marvel would risk damaging the phenomenal success of The Avengers franchise by incorporating this obscure cast of characters into its movie universe. My best guess - we'll see a direct to DVD, full-length, animated movie starring the Guardians, or maybe a live-action TV show.

What's your take on this, ahem, "news"? Think the Guardians of the Galaxy will be a lead-in movie for The Avengers 2 or will this story be shot down as false?


Will Ra's al Ghul Return from the Grave in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

Liam Neeson
Opening day of The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner (July 20), and speculation about the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is ramping up. Everybody's chiming in on what they think is going to happen in TDKR, and not one to be left out of the "Wild-assed Guess Department", I've got a few thoughts of my own to share. What I talk about below is based on publicly known information about TDKR, but could be considered spoilery (depending on how accurate my guess is).

One of the biggest questions about the plot of TDKR concerns the role that Ra's al Ghul will play in the movie. Way back in March of this year, it was revealed that Liam Neeson will be reprising his role as al Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows and the man who trained Bruce Wayne in the ways of the ninja. As you'll recall, al Ghul seemed to meet his fate at the end of Batman Begins, so many have assumed that he will be seen only in a brief flashback. However, I don't think that's all there is to it. 

What if?
The comic book version of al Ghul is immortal and the League of Shadows is able to heal any injuries with things called "Lazarus Pits". Will we see some version of that supernatural element in TDKR? Probably not. Nolan likes to ground Batman in reality and refrain from using the more outlandish comic book elements, but could he and the other screenwriters devise an explanation of how al Ghul survived the train crash in Batman Begins? Of course. In fact, a plausible explanation is not even necessary. They could just have al Ghul show up and say: 

"You of all people should know, Mr. Wayne, a legend can't be killed." 

Will the plot somehow involve a very real, very much alive al Ghul as the mastermind behind Bane's assault on Gotham City? Al Ghul has not appeared in any of the trailers for the movie, but Nolan has said in interviews that TDKR is the conclusion of his Batman story. In order for the story to have a satisfying ending, it should answer questions that were raised in the beginning regarding the League of Shadows and al Ghul. What better way to bring the story full circle than to bring back the person who was instrumental in creating the legend of Batman. After all, it was al Ghul himself who said,
"To conquer fear, you must become fear. You must bask in the fear of other men. And men fear most what they cannot see. You have to become a terrible thought. A wraith. You have to become an idea! Feel terror cloud your senses. Feel its power to distort.. to control. And know that this power can be yours. Embrace your worst fears. Become one with the darkness."

We also know that al Ghul's daughter, Talia, is played by child actor Joey King and there is speculation that the character played by Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate) is secretly the adult Talia. Cotillard has strongly denied the rumor that she is Talia, but then she certainly wouldn't confirm the rumor if it was true. Including the character of Talia al Ghul in TDKR is a most curious choice by Nolan and company, and I think it was done because al Ghul does, in fact, have a substantial part to play in the story, and not just in a throw-away flashback scene.

There you have it. I told you it was a wild-assed guess, but it's the only one I've got regarding al Ghul. Do you have a theory regarding al Ghul's possible return in The Dark Knight Rises? Lemme hear it - the crazier, the better!

Artist Pays Homage to Classic Superhero Movies

Kick Ass and Hit Girl  by LadyJ 
Spider-Man by LadyJ
I had the pleasure of stumbling across the work of this self-taught artist who goes by the name LadyJ and was amazed by her superhero drawings. Her deviantART site is filled with iconic images of superhero movies such as The Avengers, Spider-Man, and as you can see above, Kick Ass. Besides just looking way cool, what makes these drawings special to me is that she only uses Sharpie markers on card stock. She did not digitally manipulate the images, which is refreshingly retro in this this age of Photoshop and Wacom tablets. 

Iron Man by LadyJ
I hope she continues this series of superhero-inspired sketches with a few based on The Dark Knight Rises. Many of her pieces are based on Marvel movie characters, but one of her Batman-themed works is the spot on sketch of Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight (which is my personal favorite). 

The Joker by LadyJ
Here's a quote from the artist: 
"I'm self taught and have been drawing for about 45 years..Its taken me about that long to get my style...i use fine, ultra fine and large sharpie markers..I have been drawing them on light pink heavy card stock paper lately to make it not so harsh looking...I really hope that some of my drawings inspire or move you." 
Captain America by LadyJ
Spider-Man by LadyJ

Loki by LadyJ

X-Men - Wolverine by LadyJ
Thanks to LadyJ for allowing me to post her work. Check out her huge gallery of movie and pop culture drawings

Design and Drive Your Own Tumbler from The Dark Knight Rises

'Riddler's Ride' - via
Warner Bros. has created a cool site that lets you design your own virtual Tumbler just like the one in The Dark Knight Rises. You can apply almost any color or design you can imagine onto your Tumbler and then position it just the way you want, then download it as a wallpaper. Even cooler, you can click the "Drive" tab and test your skills on an obstacle course that looks like something Bruce Wayne would actually use.
'Riddler's Ride' - via
Kudos to the designers of this game! It is truly addictive once you get familiar with how the Tumbler maneuvers. Go to and get driving now. 

Note: When I tried to design my own Tumbler, I got an error message, which might be because the site is swamped with users. However, if that happens, you can still drive any one of dozens of designs already on the site.

Thanks to ForeverGeek for the heads up.

Listen to Samples of 'The Dark Knight Rises' Soundtrack

Warner Bros.
Thanks to Batman-News for posting these samples of The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack - composed by Hanz Zimmer. They're only thirty seconds each, but that's still long enough to give you a sense of the epic and dark tone of the movie. I really like Gotham's Reckoning, but let me know which is your favorite. 

The Lizard Gets Chatty in New Clip for 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curtis Connors - Sony Pictures
The Amazing Spider-Man looks to have one of the more interesting antagonists of any recent superhero movie in the form of Dr. Curtis Connors/The Lizard. Notice I didn't refer to Connors as the villain? You'll see why in the excellent featurette below, in which Rhys Ifans (the Welsh actor who portrays Connors) says  "villain" isn't an appropriate term. Check out the two minute clip to see new footage of The Lizard rampaging through New York, and oh yeah, the Big Scaly One talks as well. 
"Connors does feel kind of cheated by God, and he's looking for answers in science. He's not a villain, as such. He's just a guy who wants his arm back." - Rhys Ifans
 You might also like "The Amazing Spider-Man Director Gives Us Behind-the-Camera Access" 

"The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3, 2012) is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-alteringchoices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero." - Sony Pictures


Marvel Releases First Pic from 'Iron Man 3'!

Marvel Studios
Okay, cool! This week is getting off to a great start as Marvel graced us with the first official photo from the set of Iron Man 3 - currently filming in North Carolina. The image shows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in his "Hall of Armor" and all seven versions of his exoskeleton - from the cobbled together Mark I of 2008's Iron Man, to the ultra-high tech Mark VII from The Avengers. It's great to see Marvel going full steam ahead on their planned Phase II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers 2 will be here before you know it.

In other Iron Man 3 news -
Some on-set spy photos revealed that A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) the long-time villainous organization from Marvel Comics might be giving Stark some trouble in his next outing. If you're not familiar, A.I.M. is a terrorist group that has battled Nick Fury and other operatives of S.H.I.E.L.D. for decades in the pages of Marvel Comics. Check out the pic below courtesy of CBM  and notice the A.I.M. logo on the sign. 

Iron Man 3 set - Cary, NC

'The Dark Knight Rises' - News You Might Have Missed This Week

TDKR - opening on July 20
Yeah, we know how it is - you've been busy and weren't able to keep track of all the news that went down this week about one of the most eagerly awaited movies in years - The Dark Knight Rises. Have no fear, we've collected our favorite links from around the interwebs for your convenience and you'll be up to speed in no time. 

First up is Christian Bale, who will don the Batsuit for the final time in TDKR. Bale gave a lengthy interview to, in which he was asked if TDKR gave Nolan and himself freedom to create a great character arc for Bruce Wayne, since the film is the end of a trilogy.

Here's what Bale had to say - 
"I have no clue about what an audience is going to think about the movie. Thank God I’ve got someone like Chris who’s really great at representing the audience for us on the set. So for me, I love the character so much that with me you’d probably get a real bizarre Batman movie. People would say, “what the hell, why are we delving so much into his psyche?” But he is a fascinating character, and Chris just has to tell me it’s just tedious and boring, and he doesn’t want to see what I’m doing. 
It’s great having someone at the helm who’s remarkably confident at just going with his gut and not desiring any safety net or something to fall back on. There’s a number of times where I’ve said to him, “you sure you don’t want me to give you a few other variants [of a take]?” And he says no, don’t worry, I know what I want. He’s very, very firm with it. And it is a fascinating character! I think there’s probably an awful lot more stories that could be told, I quite like the idea of him getting older, and [seeing if he can] do it as much anymore, but I feel like you got to leave when the going’s good, and this is when Chris wants to wrap it up, and it’s the right time." - Christian Bale
Christian Bale
The June issue of Empire Magazine is devoted to TDKR and is packed with info about the movie. This week, we got a hold of some snippets of the articles and present a couple here. Christopher Nolan explained in an interview with Empire (via CA) why The Joker from The Dark Knight will not be mentioned in The Dark Knight Rises.
"We're not addressing The Joker at all. That is something I felt very strongly about in terms of my relationship with Heath and the experience I went through with him on The Dark Knight. I didn't want to in any way try and account for a real-life tragedy. That seemed inappropriate to me. We just have a new set of characters and a continuation of Bruce Wayne's story. Not involving The Joker." - Christopher Nolan

Nolan also addressed some of the fan speculation that Batman might die in this final chapter, as he explained to Empire - 
"What drew me to Batman in the first place was Bruce Wayne's story, and that he's a real character whose story begins in childhood. He's not a fully formed character like James Bond, so what we're doing is following the journey of this guy from a child who goes through this horrible experience of becoming this extraordinary character. That, for me, became a three-part story. And obviously the third part becomes the ending of the guy's story."- Christopher Nolan
 Here's a few other interesting facts that were revealed by Empire (via Collider) -  

Way back in 2008, Warner Bros. executives were already trying to get Leonardo DiCaprio signed on to play The Riddler in TDKR.

The film features almost an hour of IMAX footage.

Anne Hathaway's character, Selina Kyle, is never referred to as Catwoman in the film.  

Finally, we want to wish a Happy Birthday to none other than Morgan Freeman, who will reprise his role as Lucius Fox, in TDKR. Mr. Freeman was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He also happens to be featured in a TV spot for TDKR that debuted this week - which you can check out below. 

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